What questions do you need to answer to find the right digital marketing agency for your business? After all, you’ll want to have an agency partner you can trust by your side to navigate the ever-expanding marketing landscape. Move forward with confidence in your future marketing partnership by asking these 5 important questions before hiring an agency.
1. Do you want a specialized or a full-service agency?
A specialized agency provides services and solutions for one element of your marketing plan. For example, some agencies only offer SEO services. Other agencies offer creative services or web development services but don’t provide any paid media or optimization solutions. Mason Interactive is a full-service digital marketing agency; so, we provide everything for integrated marketing.
To decide which is best for you, conduct an audit of your digital marketing plan and internal resources to find gaps.
If you have a larger group of marketers in-house, it might be easier to work with a specialized agency to fulfill an individual element of your marketing plan. But, if you have a small marketing team or no marketing team, a full-service agency typically provides bundled services and a streamlined workflow to make your marketing efforts easier.
Another thing to consider is where you are in your marketing process. Do you have a well-designed, high-functioning website? If not, it’s best to start with a web development agency before hiring an advertising or SEO agency whose primary goal will be to drive traffic to your website.
2. Does the agency have experience in your industry?
Some agencies do not specialize in just one vertical market but focus on a horizontal market, providing their unique services to various industries. For example, Mason Interactive offers digital marketing services, but we specialize in the beauty, fashion, CPG, lifestyle, B2B, and higher education verticals.
The primary benefit of working with an agency specializing in your industry is that they have more experience in your industry’s nuances and tailor services accordingly. They’ll understand the “language” of your business and can provide you with hyper-focused strategic recommendations.
Ask for case studies or a list of clients similar to your business to determine the agency’s experience. Also, pay attention to their client schedules. For example, if your business is primarily eCommerce oriented, find out if the agency can provide you with extra attention around Q3 and Q4 to prepare for holiday sales.
3. Can the agency give you access to new resources, platforms, and vendors?
Agencies are a combination of their people, technology, and partnerships. When looking for the right agency, ask: what does the agency’s tech stack look like? By working with them, do you gain access to analytical and business intelligence tools? Is their tech stack relevant to your business needs? For example, if you are entering a new market for the first time, do they have the technology to help you gain audience insights?
High-performance agencies usually partner with companies like Google or Facebook to leverage exclusive data and engagements that give you a competitive edge. The agencies with the most exclusive Facebook and Google Partnerships fall within the top 3-5% of agencies meeting education and performance requirements. Looking for partnerships like these speaks to the credibility and reputation of your potential partner.
4. Does the agency have the right team for you?
There is a sweet spot in terms of team size when choosing the right partner. If the agency is too small, they may not have enough combined experience or time to meet your needs. But, if the agency is too large, it might have many overhead costs and a longer chain of command. A smaller agency can provide more attention to your account and provide a close-knit culture. A big agency, however, has more “hands” for busier seasons and ensures your account always has enough people.
What matters most is the infrastructure of the agency team and the alignment of expectations. For example, Mason Interactive uses a pod structure, so every client is assigned a team pod with a director, two supervisors, and a collection of analysts and specialists.
Before hiring an agency, align on communication and meeting availability early to avoid a breakdown in expectations. Ask how often you’ll meet with your team, the typical response time to emails, and if you’ll have phone access. Communication is the best foundation for a long-term partnership.
5. Does the agency’s sales process provide value?
During the initial communications with the agency, you’ll get insight into how valuable the agency partnership will be for you. Look for signs of transparency and trustworthiness before hiring an agency.
The agency’s sales team is typically your first point of contact, and you should expect to have a few meetings with them before receiving a contract. If the sales team rushes the process before getting to know your unique goals, or promises you a massive ROAS, they might not be the most trustworthy. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true.
We’ll share our 3-step sales process as an example of what you should expect:
- Discovery – You’ll meet with our team to share more about your business, your needs, desires, and your goals. We’ll share our process and answer your initial questions.
- Analysis – We perform a (free) competitive analysis to establish consensus on your digital marketing space and identify priority needs.
- Solution – Based on the analysis findings, you’ll get a custom solution. We’ll also share proposed pricing and packages, as well as case studies and example reports.
After we complete all three steps, we provide a statement of work and set up a time to review it to answer any questions.
Finding the right agency partner is vital to success so remember to ask these 5 important questions when hiring a digital marketing agency. Before making your final decision, make sure you know as much as possible about the services, experience, team, partnerships, and processes of your potential agencies. Good luck!
Contact us today if you’d like to learn more about working with Mason Interactive.